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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 14, 2013 12:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

Last week, I posted that I’d found a listing of a video of the 5/3/70 show in the Wesleyan university library media collection:
http://archive.org/post/493396/wesleyan-5-3-70-tape-and-amp-video

I doubted that it was for real. Fortunately, our local correspondent went to see the video, and brought back a surprising report:

It’s a black & white film, about 65 minutes long, documenting many of the events of the day on Foss Hill. It was filmed by a handheld camera; the sound is often muffled or unclear; the picture quality is poor, with many edits or stoppages, lines, wobbles & breakups; many songs are skipped, and it was distant from the stage, making the band a bit hard to see.
As background, the university was in upheaval at the time; students were protesting both Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia a couple days earlier, and Bobby Seale’s trial in nearby New Haven; and the campus would go on strike that week.
The first 15-20 minutes of the film shows the crowd growing on Foss Hill. It was a chilly day, sometimes raining. There’s a brief shot of an opening band, Swamp Gas, as an equipment crew sets up the stage. Then there’s an open-mic period with announcements and speeches about the protests, and a kazoo band playing Silent Night.
Over 25 minutes into the film, sometime in the afternoon, Garcia & Weir appear to do an acoustic set, minus the rest of the band. Weir announces, “Phil and Mickey are still on their way from upstate New York.” We see two songs, Deep Elem Blues and Silver Threads & Golden Needles. An unknown harmonica player plays with them. They’re playing on the top of a flatbed truck, to the quiet crowd seated on blankets.
Then we cut to the NRPS set, sometime later in the evening after dark. Garcia’s on pedal steel, and we get three songs – Workingman’s Blues, Last Lonely Eagle & Truck Drivin’ Man. The sound, while bad, is still better than the Archive tape.
Then, about 50 minutes in, we cut to the start of the Dead’s set – Hard to Handle, China Cat (cut after 30 seconds), I Know You Rider. The sound’s pretty bad, and also the camerawork, as the crowd stands up & cries out. Makeshift stage lights were set up, which leave the band mostly in shadow. Garcia is quite animated in the Hard to Handle solo, moving around with pelvic thrusts. Weir starts an audience clap-along at the end of Rider.
Then the video cuts abruptly to a short experimental film and about a minute of an indoor poetry reading.

Some of you may already have suspected, but we actually have a partial SBD tape of the acoustic set! It’s the one misdated “5/9/70” -
http://archive.org/details/gd70-05-09.sbd.cotsman.9770.sbeok.shnf
You can hear Weir’s announcement at the start, and the harmonica player throughout; two of the songs are the same; and there’s an announcement at the end about the free food running out at the first aid station (also mentioned on the video & audience tape). It’s unquestionably the same show.
Unfortunately, it cuts there after only 4 songs. There’s no telling how it originated, or came into circulation, or got mislabeled. If only more of it existed!

Our poor audience tape was made by students for a sociology class project. It starts during the NRPS set, but misses the first few songs of the Dead’s set, picking up again at Me & My Uncle (around 9:30 at night). The taper helpfully says that Good Lovin’ is the seventh song, so we know four were played before Me & My Uncle, and the video captures two of those.
http://archive.org/details/gd70-05-03.aud.goldman-sirmick.20852.sbeok.shnf

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jan 14, 2013 8:24am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

A thank-you to Jennifer Hadley and Suzie Taraba at the Special Archive Collection at the university for their generous assistance. Also, thanks to WMArchivist for your continued interest and help as we try and solve as much of this mystery as we can. Finally, a thank-you to LiA for his impetus in this project and his expert handholding. It's been fun!

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Poster: moe-larry-curly Date: Jan 14, 2013 9:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

Remember when you were trashing The Internet Archive, micah, while they were in a funding drive in late 2011? Did you disclose your extreme contempt for The Archive's fundraising to the Wesleyan University librarians when you went over there "for us"?

http://archive.org/post/404961/is-ia-owned-by-pbs
http://archive.org/post/404962/is-ia-owned-by-pbs

LiA should carefully reconsider where and how he earns his journalistic reputation around here, and who he thinks he's serving in this instance. LiA's comment is misguided at best: "Fortunately, our local correspondent went to see the [Wesleyan] video, and brought back a surprising report."

Micah, now you're claiming to be a "historian's investigator" for archivists, collectors, and music lovers to take note of? (I'm reaching for my puke bucket.)

William Tell's most insightful comment was posted in his response to your drivel, and I agree with him: "It is in keeping with your view [Micah] that the decline of the Forum is just around the corner" (which you have helped achieve... "it has been fun")

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jan 14, 2013 11:00am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

Looking back at some of my posts you bet there are moments where I look bad and do more then play the part of the fool. However, the average person can also see the other side of the balance sheet, that you, grand and courageous poster that you are, choose to be blind to. The only reason that I deign to answer you is to say No Way to the broad brush you attempt to paint with.

Get in the arena a bit more and we shall see how sweetly you smell. After your several posts and the full puke bucket, the baseline is set low to begin with.

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Poster: JackDog Date: Jan 14, 2013 11:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

Just my opinion, but you and that RBNW guy are the two biggest jerks on this forum...and possibly the ONLY two jerks here. That's just my observation from reading your posts here and RBNW's posts here.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jan 14, 2013 11:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

You really shouldn't insult RB like that. ;-)

If I knew thanking those good folks would descend into farce I would have tried to lead off with a joke or two.

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Poster: Jack o' Roses Date: Jan 14, 2013 10:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

Thanks for your efforts micah6vs8 & LiA!
...& especially, the spirit with which you made them.
Peace

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 15, 2013 11:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

By the way - as the next best thing for those of us who can't see the video, there are a bunch of photos of the day here:
http://cespurgeon.com/photos/index.php?/category/12/start-50

Mostly of the crowd (it was packed on that hill!), but there are a few shots of Jerry & Bob acoustic. Unfortunately, the harmonica player isn't in the shots...
And one solitary shot of the actual Dead show, under the lights.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 15, 2013 6:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: photos

BTW, Rose & Ring - looking at the photos, as usual, the females are considerably outnumbered at this show!

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jan 15, 2013 7:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: photos

And at a college, too. Where they had no excuse.

There are women hanging out in the bus. What is the bus, anyway? Just a random bus of Deadheads or connected with the band?

There's also evidence that Jerry preferred that era, too. When he got a chance to time travel from the 90s, he went back to '70 ...

http://cespurgeon.com/photos/upload/2012/02/18/20120218163712-235c2c02.jpg

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Poster: high flow Date: Jan 16, 2013 6:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: photos

Cool photo.

The guy in the foreground with his hands clasped and nobody paying any attention to him is interesting. But more interesting is the guy 3/4 of the way back, center, wearing a poncho looking and skyward...as are many surrounding him. I wonder what they saw that day?

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Poster: N Hoey Date: Jan 16, 2013 6:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: photos

Well, Wesleyan had only just gone back to coed after being all male since 1912.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 16, 2013 6:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: photos

Aha, I was wondering if an alum would mention something like that.
Actually, looking up some Wesleyan history, their website states, "In 1970, the first female students were admitted to Wesleyan’s freshman class since 1909."

If that means the school year that started in 1970, then when the Dead played there, it was still an all-male college!

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 14, 2013 10:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

Very cool, LiA & the kid (micah--oh yeah, don't worry...I appear to have had an "insightful" comment?! har, har? that probably IS newsworthy!). Too bad the quality is so poor...crap. Assume it may end up somewhere for viewing, or is that not a possibility?

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 14, 2013 12:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

As far as I know it can only viewed at the library, by request. I doubt it will become available outside there.
Of course, given the quality I also doubt hundreds will be flocking to see it!

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Poster: Reade Date: Jan 14, 2013 2:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

Yet another example of a 'story' about late band members to justify (for an unsuspecting audience believing they bought a ticket to hear loud electric music) an acoustic set in late '69 and early '70.
Too many of these examples for any kind of a coincidence. No, it wasn't always necessary (shows on their home turf for example) but served a real purpose out on the road back in the day when information moved far more slowly and audiences were unaware of recent innovations to the band's performing repertoire.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jan 14, 2013 4:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

I am not sure this would fit that pattern. It looked like a pretty organic event. Reading the school newspaper (The Argus) some folks and student organizations worked hard to host this event: free food, accommodations and other. GD played at the bottom of Foss Hill (right next to the track and at that time the baseball field), on top of a flatbed truck w/ iffy lights and sound system, on a cold, rainy May night. It did not look like anyone was taking tickets or acting as security. (It looked like Spring Fling.) At one point there was a reminder from the stage that some people might be undercover police. Garcia and Weir, who were there early, performed an impromptu concert that afternoon (in between the rain). It would be interesting to know what GD were charging all those colleges that May versus the going rate.

Best quote. "Everyone is going on the bus, but no one is coming off." (Referring to their bus just after GD arrived. And said without apparent irony.)

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Poster: N Hoey Date: Jan 15, 2013 12:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

I grew up in Middletown. My parents worked at Wesleyan. We lived about a mile away. I was 11 when this show happened. I remember the day somewhat. My friends and I used to ride our bikes around the campus and we did that day too. Right at this time, Nixon had expanded the war into Cambodia and US Colleges were in an uproar. Many were going on strike. I got a white sheet armband that said STRIKE! on it from one of the student activist tables set up by the Admin buildings. The Kent State shootings would happen the next day.

This was my first awareness of the GD. Workingmans Dead was released right about this time. Lyricist John Barlow had just graduated from Wesleyan. He was in the College of Letters where my Mom worked and I met him several times as a kid. The band stayed in the Holiday Inn in Meridan about 8-10 miles away. The night before, they played the famous Harpur College show which certainly keep them up quite late and the trip from Binghamton to Middletown would have been easily 3+ hours back then. So being late is actually more likely than not.

The event was wide open and free, in the center of the campus on main athletic field. The wide lawn extending up Foss Hill was the "seating". That was our prime hill for sledding in the winter. I remember that it went on all afternoon with a number of bands and into the night. I was kinda young to really know what was what. It was the first time I saw pot smoking and experienced the smell. If the acoustic set happened in the afternoon I expect it was late. I had to be home for dinner and wasn't allowed to go back so I did not see the GD.

As to this recording:
http://archive.org/details/gd70-05-09.sbd.cotsman.9770.sbeok.shnf

light into ashes feels it is a sdbd recording as did the original poster and I understand why they do, but I'm quite certain it is not. Really. It isn't. It is a microphone recording done right up close to the stage and PA. While the instruments sound deceptively boardlike, the vocals do not at all. The fact that it was outdoors only helped the ambient microphone recording sound boardlike, no room reflections. Along with the various bumping and thumping sounds of Bob and Jerry, there are ALSO mic handling sounds. Also the sound of the audience applause at the end of the songs is distinctly unboardlike (ie, at the end of Black Peter) and much more microphone near stagelike. The particular quality and character of the saturation on the vocal peaks sounds like an auto level cassette, not a higher quality manually set deck. The sound this recording is exactly what I would expect from a close up, microphone to auto level cassette recorder of that era, even a built in mic recorder. The rather informal and rudimentary stage set up makes it FAR more likely that someone just came right up close and set a deck near one of the speakers rather than attempt to get a much more complicated board feed with who knows what sort of mix. When the ordan comes in during Black Peter, it does not sound at all like a channel fader being turned up, nor does the harmonica sound like it is coming direct from a hand cupped mic line. Having been an extensive collector and taper myself for 35+ years, I am extremely familiar with every conceivable recording "sound". This is not a line recording from a soundboard, no way.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffMonte B Cowboy Date: Jan 15, 2013 11:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

I graduated high school the year before this GD show at Wesleyan. I wasn't a deadhead yet. My older brother was getting drafted at this time. He had just finished going to an aviation school. Instead, the Naval Air Reserves accepted him due to his aviation training. I was next in line to get drafted. The shit was hitting the fan: very unfavorable war in Vietnam!

Thanks to an eleven-year-old kid, we're finally getting this "uniquely American" story straight: May 3, 1970 was the day before the Kent State Massacre.

The first week of May in 1970 American history was all about our war in Vietnam.

On April 30, 1970, in a televised address, President Nixon announced to the nation that an "incursion" into Cambodia had been launched by United States combat forces.

dead-head_Monte-richardnixoncambodianincursion.jpg

"In cooperation with the armed forces of South Vietnam, attacks are being launched this week to clean out major enemy sanctuaries on the Cambodian-Vietnam border.

A major responsibility for the ground operations is being assumed by South Vietnamese forces. For example, the attacks in several areas, including the Parrot's Beak that I referred to a moment ago, are exclusively South Vietnamese ground operations under South Vietnamese command with the United States providing air and logistical support.

There is one area, however, immediately above Parrot's Beak, where I have concluded that a combined American and South Vietnamese operation is necessary.

Tonight, American and South Vietnamese units will attack the headquarters for the entire Communist military operation in South Vietnam. This key control center has been occupied by the North Vietnamese and Vietcong for 5 years in blatant violation of Cambodia's neutrality.

This is not an invasion of Cambodia. The areas in which these attacks will be launched are completely occupied and controlled by North Vietnamese forces. Our purpose is not to occupy the areas. Once enemy forces are driven out of these sanctuaries and once their military supplies are destroyed, we will withdraw."


— an excerpt from Nixon's Address to the Nation on the Situation in Southeast Asia, televised live on April 30, 1970.

At Kent State University, a massive demonstration was held on May 1, 1970 on the Commons, and another had been planned for May 4.

On May 4, 1970, Ohio National Guard troops opened fire on peaceful student protesters at Kent State University. They shot and killed four students, two of whom were not protesters. One of the students killed was William Knox Schroeder. William Schroeder had been walking from one class to the next when he was gunned down. Schroeder was also a member of the campus ROTC chapter.

Wait a minute, my dad was ROTC (Harvard). Imagine that! After graduation my dad flew planes over north Africa in WW II and he was shooting film. This is how he got his VA funeral when he passed away over twenty years ago. It turns out my older brother gets into aviation. It turns out I get into taping GD, then shooting video, and then working in electronics in broadcasting. (Is there any genetics going on here?)

Vietnam looms largely today, Jan 15, 2013. We have Vietnam combat veterans Chuck Hagel being nominated for Secretary of Defense, and John Kerry being nominated for Secretary of State.

During the first week of May, 1970, GD had one very brilliant and shining moment. This was the free benefit concert at the M.I.T. student protest on Kresge Plaza on May 6, 1970. For me, this was by far GD's finest moment.

An Unscheduled Freebie on May 6, 1970 - discussion thread for TDIH

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Poster: N Hoey Date: Jan 15, 2013 1:17am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

Oh I also meant to say that if this is from KENNYBEE's friend's cassette master and it could be and probably is, then I bet the reason the electric set wasn't also circulated is that the much louder volume probably overloaded the autolevel deck far worse than the acoustic set and they considered it unlistenable.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 15, 2013 12:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

Thanks for your input! This would be an excellent AUD tape then, similar to the 4/12/70 AUD.
Then it would also make sense why it cuts off early, as the taper probably got caught if he was so close. Same thing happened to the tapers on 5/16.
There's no telling whether Bob Matthews recorded this show or not, as we're missing a week of the Dead's SBD reels right here, between 5/2 and 5/14. (5/6 was an outside job.)

Kennybee taped on 5/9, not 5/3.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jan 15, 2013 10:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

>That (Foss Hill) was our prime hill for sledding in the winter. It still is! Quite crowded (but still fun) during prime time sledding.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Jan 15, 2013 12:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

Thanks for writing. I never knew Barlow was a College of Letters alum. So am I.
We called it "traying - sledding on Foss Hill on cafeteria trays.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Jan 14, 2013 8:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

I highly doubt it was a "story." This was a free show. There was no "backstage." Phil & Mickey would've had to be hiding in a bus!
They had also been playing acoustic sets regularly for a couple months by then, and had already played two full-band acoustic sets just in the previous 2 days, apparently without much warning. They had no need to make up an excuse.
I've read other accounts that the Dead were supposed to start in the afternoon, but the full band didn't arrive til near dark. The NRPS set apparently started quite a bit later than this acoustic set.
I've read one account that Phil & Mickey were visiting Mickey's aunt.

I am not so sure the earlier occasions in Dec '69 when a late bandmember prompted an acoustic set were just "stories," either. Not that it was a coincidence, but I suspect that bandmembers were frequently late to shows in those days. There must be plenty of electric shows that started late because someone arrived late, but since it's not mentioned on tape, we never know about it.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jan 14, 2013 4:14am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

Garcia doing pelvic thrusts? I can't say I'd ever seen that. Elvis style or Rocky Horror?

And a sociology class? Love it.

Dad and mom: "So what are you doing in college these days?"

Kid: "Sociology. Hey, can you send some money? I need, um, materials for class."

Good research by the local correspondent. I'm sure it was hard work, but someone's gotta do it.

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Poster: Pig Street ! Date: Jan 14, 2013 5:11am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

Check this one out
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdjlOPBBGXE

A great video as with all stuff, been upgraded.

Jer is pretty animated on this one, even does us a jump or two...

This post was modified by Pig Street ! on 2013-01-14 13:11:39

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jan 14, 2013 9:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

Take that great USB (yes, at Duke BD) clip and crank it up to eleven. And that would be Elvis style (light years better then Gangnam style), AR. We really couldn't believe our eyes so we rewound that sucker several times just to make sure.

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Poster: BornEasement Date: Jan 14, 2013 9:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 5/3/70 Wesleyan video and SBD tape

propane is a helluva drug...